The Victorian State Government has launched a new blog as it ramps up its community consultation efforts around the way it supports the local technology industry and uses technology itself.
The blog quietly went live yesterday under the auspices of Multimedia Victoria, the agency responsible for overseeing the growth of the ICT sector in the state.
"Multimedia Victoria is working on a review of the Victorian Government ICT Industry Plan 2005-2010 and development of a new plan," the agency said in a statement. "As part of this, the agency has set up an ICT Plan Blog for online consultation and discussion and will be regularly posting on issues regarding the ICT industry, technology trends, adoption and use of ICT and next-generation broadband."
The first entry in the blog — which is not posted under any specific author byline — asks users for their opinion about the wave of hype surrounding cloud computing, asking questions such as whether readers' businesses are using cloud-based software or services, and whether they plan to invest in such services in future.
Several user comments have already been posted, with a user named 'vic' from a university environment noting they do use cloud computing wherever possible, while another — named 'carla', noted they do use cloud computing, but their workplace does not.
The news comes as government departments and agencies around Australia are increasingly using Web 2.0-style tools such as blogging and Twitter to engage with the communities that they serve.
For example, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) early this month created a new public blog, in what is so far the most visible result to the Federal Government's formal response handed down today to its enquiry last year into how it could better use Web 2.0 technologies to enhance transparency and community engagement.
The blog attracted a mixed response, with with some visitors to the site praising it, but some expressing doubt about the Government's real commitment to open government or using it to vent their frustrations with the Gershon report and other controversial matters.